By NQOBANI NDLOVU
GOVERNMENT has not yet disbursed devolution funds to the Bulawayo City Council (BCC) for roads rehabilitation, the local authority has said.
Council had budgeted $20,7 million for resurfacing of some of the city’s dilapidated roads, a latest report of the council’s environment, management and engineering services committee shows.
Government allocates devolution funds to provinces based on a number of factors such as poverty levels, quality of infrastructure and size of the population.
The BCC said it had planned to utilise its share of the funds in refurbishing its road network.
“The director of engineering services (Simela Dube) reported (July 14, 2020) that a total of $20 700 000 had been budgeted for under the inter-governmental fiscal transfers (devolution) fund disbursements,” the report read.
“The funds would be utilised for surfacing roads that were reconstructed in 2017 and 2018, but could not be surfaced due to financial constraints. In addition, 2,6km of Glenville Drive sections would be reconstructed. The government had not disbursed anything by the end of the reporting period.”
Local Government minister July Moyo could not be reached for comment.
Devolution is provided for under Chapter 12 of the Constitution with section 268 providing for the establishment of provincial councils.
However, to date, there is no enabling Act to operationalise devolution despite government approving principles of the Provincial Councils and Administration (Amendment) Bill.
Bulawayo’s road network has continued to deteriorate due to ageing and lack of timely maintenance owing to resource constraints.
A recent survey conducted by council showed that nearly 80% of the city’s road network required heavy rehabilitation and reconstruction.
Last year, council was forced to turn to individuals, community groups and companies for road maintenance work.
City fathers said such projects could be afforded through an “adopt-a-road” concept.